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People sound off about electric company's reliability

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Feb 16 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 16 2012 10:42:14 PM CST

Months after the lights and heat came back on, some folks finally had the chance to speak out about the power going out and staying out for what many think was way too long.

READING, Pa. -

Months after the lights and heat came back on, some folks finally had the chance to speak out about the power going out and staying out for what many think was way too long.

We're talking about the power outages that accompanied that storm trifecta that hit the region late last summer and fall. Some wanted to know why the electric companies response times were so slow.

At RACC, people recounted the number of days they were without power and the horror stories they had speaking to customer service.

The Public Utility Commission was there and said they are holding the electric companies accountable.

"I don't expect to be putting out all this money just because Met-Ed is understaffed and they don't have their you know what together," said David Frick, Ruscombmanor Township.

Mother nature left many people in the dark this past fall after Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and the October snowstorm. But many feel their electric companies could have done a better job getting the lights back on and communicating what was causing the hold up.

"They need to be stepped on and some kind of control," said said Fred Lubas of Lower Alsace Township.

The state's Public Utility Commission regulates the utility companies and heard people's concerns.

"I am impressed by the passion and the energy around some of the concerns that they raised given that the last storm was back in October now we're in the middle of February," said Commmissioner Wayne Gardener, "Some of the pain I heard was very fresh to folks."

The commissioner said the electric utility companies will be held accountable.

"The commission is currently investigating how the companies responded to all three of the major events," said Gardener.

He said the report will be out sometime this May or June. Representatives from PPL and Met-Ed said they admit they could have done a better job and are working on improvements even though they haven't received the PUC report.

"We got to look at other ways that we can help ourselves and we're doing that now," said Steve Schumacher of First Energy.

The PUC said they can't address a problem if they don't know about it. If you have only complained to your utility company the PUC recommends you give them a call about your experience at 1-800-692-7380.